Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This started out as a Bionicle Santa, which didn't work out too well, mostly because of the difficulty in making a convincing beard. Also making a plausible belly like a bowlful of jelly proved not easy. Robot monsters do not tend to rotundity. Except Tic-Toc. The closest I got was Santa Mantis and that was not satisfactory. It morphed into this more conventional ACTION FIGURE. Features to note:
- Festive color scheme.
- Mantis-like head.
- Golden bustle.
- Articulated waist.
- Gadgetized feet.
Talk to the hook!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Coming soon: The Toa Maiden's Holiday Fever Dreams
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Also there were minstrels.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
She came to my attention playing the part of Spock's mother. I was too young to have seen her on Father Knows Best. Much later I discovered Lost Horizon and was much taken with Jane Wyatt's performance. That movie is one of my favorites, mostly for its Utopian mysticism, but also because of the character Sondra.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
This is so much cooler than using roaches to control airplanes.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The making of the soundtrack feature records the intense guided improv sessions that Herzog used instead of having a score written. He articulates his frustration at his lack of musical ability at the outset, but his hand gestures and body language as he agonizes trying to get a musical idea across without the means to hand. It's satisfying to see when he gets the result that he imagines in his head.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Saturday, September 02, 2006
And what is up with Sir John Gielgud's appearance? One line hat is half grunt? A less-than-incidental character? Incomprehensible. On the plus side, the show is a lot of fun to watch and avoids many TV movie blunders. "The making of ..." emphasizes the short production schedule which resulted in a lot of single takes. Lots of rough patches to be sure, but we get to see the actors applying their skill. I am looking at you, Robert Bresson!
Everyone calls Bickle a monster, but he's just a little more messed up than average. He just needs a friend! But not another near-psycho cabbie like "Wizard."
Scorsese sure knows his city. He managed to paint (with his use of saturated colors, smeared lenses, etc, that is almost literally so - much closer to a painterly effect than poor mannered Bresson) a specific view of New York.
Most disturbing part was in the "Making of ..." Censors demanded that in the climax that colors be de-saturated to preserve R rating. (!!!) Appalling nannyism! I see their point: de-saturating the colors certainly lessened the effect. Scorsese should have sued. Oh well, spilt milk etc. Possible to fix, I suppose, but historicity, etc.
I look forward to Taxi Driver vs Alien.
A triple-pulley system plays an important part in the plot. The same week that I watched I visited the Seattle Science Center with a beloved child and there was an opportunity to play with a similar set-up.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Tree clearing plan at farm sparks uproar
By TRISTAN BAURICK Staff Writer
Aug 05 2006
Vista Drive neighbors want better views, while a long-time farmer digs in.
Akio Suyematsu – at 84 years and just over 5 feet tall – isn’t going to budge if the chainsaws come.
“I’d like to see them take my trees,” Suyematsu said Thursday, after learning of a city proposal to remove and prune trees he planted nearly 60 years ago on his family’s Day Road farm. “If I’m here, I’ll kick ’em out.”
But the 15-acre farm is now city property, purchased from Suyematsu five years ago as open space while allowing Suyematsu to work the land until 2012.
Residents along neighboring Vista Drive to the east have complained that the narrow stand of approximately 80 trees blocks views and are a danger to their homes.
The City Council on Wednesday will discuss an agreement with seven Vista Drive property owners allowing an arborist to trim branches for improved west-facing views, which includes farm fields, a vineyard and the Olympic Mountains. Eight trees judged dead or dying would also get the axe as a safety measure, according to the proposal.
In return, the city would gain the right to maintain a narrow irrigation and stormwater ditch cut by Suyematsu’s family. The ditch, which helps prevent flooding in Suyematsu’s berry fields and other agricultural lands, bisects nine Vista Drive residents’ properties and is almost entirely outside of the city’s property, according to city staff.
The ditch’s location touched off a property dispute after Vista Drive was developed in the 1960s.
The city, in an effort to avoid costly litigation, crafted a proposal aimed at compromise between the city and residents.
Vista Drive residents commended the city for its work over the last year in trying to reach a compromise.
“They don’t want our seven or eight lawyers with their one lawyer,” said Vista Drive resident Walter Braswell. “The city has enough on its plate other than dealing with this.”
Braswell and other residents expressed hope that the agreement will improve safety and the aesthetic value of their properties.
“One of the branches came down on my house four years ago,” said Braswell. “It put a 4-inch hole in my roof. We want to get rid of these widow-maker trees.”
Braswell also wants additional limb trimmings to better enjoy views from his property.
“That’s the reason we came here – the quality of life,” he said. “It’s about sharing the panoramic view and the pastoral view. Many people like to look at the farm.”
But Suyematsu and other farmers on Day Road would prefer not to have a view of Braswell’s home.
“One of the values of this place is you don’t see sprawl,” said winemaker Gerard Bentryn, who owns vineyards adjacent to the Suyematsu property. “What the city’s proposing will be is a kick in the island’s scenic pants.”
Suyematsu said he planted the trees – many of which are 40 to 60-foot Douglas firs – to conceal the residential development as it cropped up next to his farm.
“When I sold the property to (the city), I said, ‘no houses, and you better not cut my trees,’” he said.
Suyematsu has allowed Vista Drive residents to trim his trees in the past. But his view of his neighbors and the city has soured.
“They’re double-crossers,” he said. “If I die tomorrow, (the city) will probably come in and build houses.”
Ann Frothingham, whose family owns two parcels bordering Vista Drive, hopes the agreement will cause no ill-will with Suyematsu or Day Road’s farmers.
“I love Akio...and I love the trees,” she said. “I wish they weren’t firs. They grow a hundred feet high. I think (replacing them) with some flowering trees would be lovely.
“But there’s no question they impact the property when you look out at a line of firs.”
Some methods prescribed by an arborist’s assessment commissioned by the city and conducted by Seattle-based Tree Solutions include the removal of some lower limbs, re-cutting the tops of trees that were lopped off in the past and removal of young alders to reduce future pruning and possible safety risks.
Island plant pathologist Olaf Ribeiro, who has consulted for the city on tree retention issues in the past, has strong doubts about the Tree Solutions’ assessment.
“It upset me,” he said. “It’s all about taking out trees and topping them and nothing about saving them or improving the vigor of the trees. Several of the trees could be treated with just mulch and fertilizer.”
Ribeiro is also concerned that tree removal could destabilize the surrounding slope and flood farmland below.
“Those are big trees and it’ll make a big difference,” he said. “You’ll definitely see flooding down there.”
While arborists, city officials and home owners may debate the future of the trees, Suyematsu says the answer is simple: he was there first.
“If I was here last, I wouldn’t say too much,” he said. “But this farm was already here. My dad came here in 1928. Now these houses come here and they have more rights than me? That’s not right.”
Monday, August 07, 2006
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
The day has been uneventful with only the usual disheartening, barely understandable and thoroughly juvenile behavior of some people in the call center: throwing their headsets in the trash when they spill soda all over it, posting sophomoric* notes on the bathroom door, moving the pool table with no regard for the unevenness of the floor**, general unattractiveness.
On the plus side, I cam across Writely.com, newly acquired by Google, and was provided an invite by someone in .de. //()()t!, I guess. Nice feature is that one can post directly to Blogger from within Writely. Spiffy. Or rather, it would be spiffy if Blogger were updating correctly, which it is not at the moment.
To prove that this is a blog entry, I will now record what I plan to have for dinner: the last of the roast beef from the party. Now there will be room in the freezer for the ice cube trays. Which are from Ikea and make cubes in amusing shapes which of course means that they are not cubes at all.
Nature sighting: a raccoon with cub (joey? pup?) walked by my office window. As it is broad daylight, this is probably not a good sign. Not a really bad sign, like flaming frogs from the sky, but a sign that something is somewhat amiss. Somewhere.
* "Thanks for slamming the door. I don't think they heard you at the third gate of Hell." Uproarious.
** In a more civilized place (i.e. Poole) , they'd be beaten with cue sticks until they learned better.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Monday, July 31, 2006
I had a poster from this movie in my room. I cannot imagine what my parents thought of that.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
kyle_beatty: added RAM to iBook as part of more-serious move away from thrice-bedamned Windows
kyle_beatty: Google Notes not earth shattering instance of net application
kyle_beatty: Bionicle starting to annoy just because they take up too much room
kyle_beatty: Still on vacation?
kyle_beatty: If I had a cat its breath would smell of cat food.
kyle_beatty: we set up a trap for call center imps. We built a closet with a one way door and a sign that says 'cat fud' . The call center managers were not amused. I think they were more alarmed at the potential for proving just how special their employees are (which would reflect badly on them) rather than the lack of regard that IT feels for anyone's feelings or the managers' authority, which is nonexistent. My boss has forbidden the frozen turkey giveaway/catapult because of considerable legal liability potential. Counterproposal to use live turkeys denied on the basis of "inhumaneness." He invoked Carlson's Despair and that was the end of that!
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Standing at an open door to an apartment, a small cup was dropped and it rolled into the flowerbed. When I picked it up, there was a wee brown frog in the cup.
A flock of wrens were roosting one recent evening in a bush beneath my office window. I stuck my head out the window to get a better look and they were not at all disturbed. They continued to gather in the bush, sometimes looking over at me.
I saw a hummingbird in the apple tree the day before yesterday.
Update: A duck and four siblings were walking at full speed along Juanita way. It was adorable.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
The name makes me think 'iniquity' which is a bit of a stretch vocabulary-wise for the typical Bionicleer.
I will post pictures when time permits.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Friday, June 30, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Kurlansky, Mark. Salt: A World History.
Penguin Group. 2003.
and / or
Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. Penguin Group. 1998.
Vince has been going on about Salt ... ever since he read it when it was new. Someone told me that Salt... is an offshoot of the Cod ... book.
Gardner, John. Grendel. Vintage Books. 1971.
I've been meaning to re-read this for well, decades now. Will it be as good now as I thought it was then? The current movie is not based on this book. Although there is an animated movie from Australia written by John Gardner called
Grendel Grendel Grendel. Also from iMDB: "In 1982, his novel, 'Grendel', was adapted as a stage play by Indianapolis actor Bart Simpson, who is now the artistic director of
The Blue Monkey Sideshow."
Silas Marner. Dover. 1861.
The Fishing News! Pfft! Let's get it right from the melodramatic source. Lisa Simpson's favoritebook. Wait, no. Lisa Simpson's favorite book is Ethan Frome. Never mind about Lisa. Or the Fishing News. Silas Marner is another one of those Queen Anne waists, threshing in the background, tea and tatting in the parlor, muddy boots, talkity-talk books. I'm sure there's a deacon or two to spare and any number of bloodless parsons.
Madame Bovary. Dover. 1886.
Translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling, daughter of Karl Marx.
Atwood, Margaret. The Blind Assassin. 2001.
I looked at this on a remainder table once and it has been in the back of my mind ever since. Won a prize. Did we do a different book by Atwood?
Friday, June 02, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
Friday, May 12, 2006
Monday, May 01, 2006
Friday, April 28, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Friday, April 07, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Monday, March 06, 2006
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The correct action can be accomplished with just a few pieces: 1x2 hinge plates. After moving a few spacers around to allow for stud-play, it all works out almost exactly the same but with the correct mechanism. I think. In the movie, it's not easy to see what the ships are doing. Close enough!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
William Westmore was charged with the hopeless task of making Grace Kelly look haggard and tired. Her performance may be good but she is completely undone by her luminous, sculptured features. The camera can't get enough of her shoulders and chin, even while she is gasping out some pretty bad speeches (almost Padme-bad. Almost Episode III-bad.) Bing Crosby sings some and also portrays a drunk and is forced to spout half-baked dependency psycho-babble. Pauline Kael calls it "odd" and she is right.
Americans, even Ghibli-enthusiastic Americans, are likely to be baffled at least a couple of times. The kamikaze scene's weaponry is sure to astound. At turns whimsical, tragic, brutal, manic, but never coy, the story tells a gigantic tale. The moral is that the damage that we do to nature is damage done to ourselves. Humans are not inimical monsters (see Nausicaa) but animals more foolish than most.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
I picture a couple of freezer chests of baboon hearts being heaved into the brush to make room. Turns out it was just an elderly Texan plutocrat and not Osama. Better luck next time, your grey eminence.
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